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Panasonic, Philips, Sony vow cheaper Blu-ray

updated 09:25 am EST, Wed February 25, 2009

Pana Philips Sony Blu-ray

Panasonic, Philips and Sony today published plans to create a single licensing firm for Blu-ray discs. The new, unnamed company will let companies visit just one place to get rights to make Blu-ray burners, movie players and discs and as a result should lower the costs of the licenses themselves. The group estimates that the cost of a license should drop "at least" 40 percent versus today's approach, which requires talking to each of the three partner companies individually.

In examples of licensing, the partners expect a license to cost $9.50 for a read-only Blu-ray device and $14 for a burner. Discs will cost 11 cents for read-only discs, 12 cents for write-once BD-Rs and 15 cents for rewritable BD-RE discs.

All the companies also hint that the measures are meant to enforce licensing and will take "special measures" to both push licensing and to make unauthorized devices easier to spot.

The moves are all crucial to the adoption of Blu-ray, which despite its victory over HD DVD has yet to significantly overtake DVD for either movies or computer storage. Much of the reluctance has been attributed to high prices both for devices and for blank discs, with the least expensive Blu-ray movie players costing about $200 and recordable Blu-ray discs costing $10 or more each versus prices just a fraction of either for their DVD equivalents.

by MacNN Staff



  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    With Vudu & other...

    ...compelling download services the trickle down may have begun... Is this already yet another obsolescence on the horizon, save for data backup & authoring...?

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sony is junk

    Yeah years ago they were a brand you can rely on. But now their products are so bad in design and quality. Just check out all the Sony Blue Blob LCD TV's they built around 04, 05. Just about all of them are failing.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    bag of hurt

    maybe they're trying to alleviate the "bag of hurt" that steve jobs mentioned last year.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    blu-ray never sold well

    I knows many people who bought hddvd discs. I don't know anyone who's bought more than one or two blu-ray discs.

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Never sold well???

    ..."blu-ray never sold well"

    I'm not sure which planet Guest is talking about; here on Earth, Blu-ray discs were outselling HD-DVD by a wide margin, for the last (at least) three months of HD-DVD's existence. This was the primary reason why studios switched their allegiance and went Blu-ray.

    Another thing; the article says: ..."Blu-ray (...) has yet to significantly overtake DVD for either movies or computer storage"; this implies that it has already overtaken DVD, but only marginally, and has yet to do it significantly. If this were true, there'd be no reason for concern.

    Blu-ray is still barely a blip in media delivery and storage. Nonetheless, it has a bright future. There is no doubt that it can only grow, as there are no other viable means of delivering true HD content to masses. Broadband penetration is negligible, and it cannot seriously be considered physical media killer for the next 10 to 20 years. During that time Blu-ray can provide what's necessary for a complete switch to HD.

  1. malax

    Joined: Dec 1969


    10-20 years?

    I have to laugh at the idea that any current technology will be safe for "10 to 20 years." 20 years ago, 300 baud modems were still in use and services (such as Compuserve) charged extra for "high speed" 2400 baud access. 20 years ago you might pay $400 for a 20 MEG hard drive. Today you might pay $80 for a 500 GIG hard drive.

    "The future's so bright, I've gotta wear shades." (also from 20 years ago)

    The question is whether BluRay will still be relevant 5 years from now.

  1. bluejammm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    5 yrs

    I agree, physical media will be dead in 5 years...and that's being generous.

  1. TomSawyer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Manufacturers and consumers are supposed to be grateful that these three companies are only going to rape them once versus three times sequentially???

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    5 years???

    Dead in five years? You must be living in South Korea... But outside of there, no other country has any meaningful true broadband infrastructure. There is no chance in h*** that internet pipes will be fat enough to move the entire world's HD content back and forth, in addition to all the traffic volumes generated today. The idea is just ludicrous. I'm sure a handful of developed countries might have access to such pipes to majority of their population, but not even US will be there in five years.

    By all means, have fun with your AppleTV; it's a great format. However, I'll still need to burn optical media in order to give my in-laws my home videos in HD. This ain't changing in five years, no how. And there's no doubt, I represent majority of developed world's population (AND I live in NYC!).

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's the cost stupid

    My dad, not being a tech junky, asked me about buying a blue-ray player to replace a broken dvd player. I'm no expert either, but I seem to know more than your average consumer. I told my dad to purchase one of the upscaling DVD players because I believe blue-ray is still way to expensive. While DVD, even upscaled, can't touch blue-ray or HDDVD for that matter, it's still a good picture. I'm sure enthusiast would disagree, watching a movie is more about the movie - the story, the acting, directing, etc - and not so much about the visual of the movie. That being said, there are movies that are mostly visual, but even DVD on an HDTV is pretty good to relay that effect. So for what it's worth, in my opinion, I don't believe the current cost of blue-ray players and movies is justified by the experience difference over DVD. Just to be clear, I have no illusions of the quality difference between upscaled DVDs and Blue-ray, it's just the cost.

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